- If it takes <2 minutes to deal with, deal with it, and then archive the email. This practice has a twofold benefit. First, it’s good for your brain to close the loop on whatever information you faced so that you’re not still thinking about it when you move to the next item in your inbox. Second, it will get you in the habit of archiving emails if that’s not your current your practice, paving the way for you to get your inbox under control.
- If it takes >2 minutes to deal with, create an actionable task that links back to the email. I.e., the task should start with a verb! To do this, simply copy the url from your email.
3. To reduce the volume that comes into your inbox, send less emails! One method — have an ‘Agendas’ list where you write down things to discuss with people the next time you meet or run into them.
To those who are new to taming their inbox, the title of this post likely sounds grandiose. Allow me to explain.
When we have a bunch of open threads and tasks we’re not working on staring us in the face (not to mention all the incoming distractions!), we feel overwhelmed and unproductive.
Managing your email will help you get more done, yes, but more importantly, it makes you feel calm and in control. And for long term accomplishment and avoiding burnout, nothing matters more than how you feel each day. So give it a try!